Outdoor Operational Stability of Indium-Free Flexible Polymer Solar Modules Over 1 Year Studied in India, Holland, and Denmark


  • This work was supported by the European Commission's FP7 ICT Framework projects titled ROTROT (grant no. 288565) and HiFlex (grant no. 248678). Partial support was received by EU-Indian FP7 Framework project titled “LargeCells” (grant no. 261936) (Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author).


We present an outdoor interlaboratory stability study of fully printed and coated indium-tin-oxide (ITO)-free polymer solar cell modules in JNCASR Bangalore (India), ECN (Holland), and DTU (Denmark) carried over more than 1 year. The modules comprising a fully printed and coated stack (Ag grid/PEDOT:PSS/ZnO/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/Ag grid) were prepared in two successive generations and evaluated for outdoor operational stability according to the test protocols laid out by the International Summit on OPV stability (ISOS-3). The modules (70–100 cm2 active area) were encapsulated between two sheets of low-cost plastic barrier material with the use of a UV curing adhesive. The impact of differences in the climatic conditions on the performance of the modules is highlighted and the performance of the modules under storage conditions in parallel with the outdoor study is investigated. While all Gen-I modules failed, the best devices of Gen-II module in which simple improvement in the encapsulation scheme (Gen-II modules) was carried out maintained 95% of the initial performance after 1 year of outdoor testing. We provide detailed insight into the failure mode and offer a discussion on the need for improvement in flexible encapsulation. Finally, recommendations on future encapsulation schemes are also presented.